“By getting vaccinated, you’re also protecting someone close to you – someone you love”.
During a visit to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to people in Germany to get vaccinated. “The key question is how many people get vaccinated,” said Merkel. No one was protected on their own, she said. “The more of us are vaccinated, the more freedom we will regain,” the Federal Chancellor stressed. To all those who were still unsure, she said: “By getting vaccinated, you’re not just protecting yourself but also someone close to you – someone you love.”
“The virus doesn’t stop for a break.”
In order to cope with more aggressive variants of the virus, 85 percent of those aged 12 to 59 and 90 percent of those over 60 would need to be vaccinated, said Merkel. “We’re still a long way from those figures,” said the Federal Chancellor, adding that despite rising vaccination rates and low incidences at the present time, the pandemic was not over yet. This was why hygiene rules, regular ventilation and testing were still so crucial, she said. ICU occupancy and hospitalisation rates were a clear reflection of vaccine effectiveness, said Merkel.
“Vaccination won’t be compulsory”
The Federal Chancellor stressed that vaccination would not be compulsory. “We’re currently in a phase where we can promote vaccination. Vaccine acceptance is at a high level right now,” said Merkel. According to RKI President Lothar Wieler, only a very small percentage of people do not want to be vaccinated. By contrast, the vaccine acceptance rate was over 80 percent, he said, which meant “the vaccination campaign ought to be successful.”
Motto: vaccination to go
“How the autumn and winter turn out is very much in our own hands,” said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. He called on people to take the opportunity to get vaccinated whenever they could. “There are no more excuses,” said Spahn, noting that sufficient vaccine was available and it was easy to get an appointment. The federal states and municipalities were currently being very creative in getting the vaccine out to the people by offering easy-access vaccinations in places such as market squares, sports fields, churches and mosques. The Federal Government was keeping its promise to offer everyone a vaccination during the course of the summer, said Spahn.
In addition to discussing the coronavirus vaccination programme, the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Minister of Health also took the opportunity to find out about other projects and challenges the Institute was currently involved with. Merkel thanked the staff of the RKI, saying: “We’re proud to have such an institute in Germany.”